MBA degree is a 2-year post-graduate degree that provides a working knowledge of key areas of business administration. While MBA studies were primarily offered at universities in the USA, it is now one of the most coveted degrees for aspiring students worldwide. In the 21st century, MBA offers various specialisation programs to students who can choose from Full-time MBA, Part-time MBA, Online MBA, Distance MBA or one year MBA to advance in their careers.
MBA courses typically follow a standard curriculum that is structured around core studies — each course includes an elective course that students opt for based on their areas of interest.
Among the most sought-after specialisations have Human Resources. Business Analytics, Accounting, Business Law, Entrepreneurship, Digital Marketing, Supply Chain Management, and so on. In India, over 3700 colleges offer various specialisations in MBA. Each of these caters to different segments and enjoys huge demand worldwide.
The demand for MBA has been on the rise consistently. Annually, over 2,00,000 candidates appear for the CAT exam, the most popular MBA entrance test. It includes three tenets: Quantitative Aptitude, Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation, and Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension. Given the interest in GMAT, top Indian institutes also accept GMAT scores for admissions. Why is MBA demonstrating such high demand? How is an MBA helpful in securing a better career?
Let's get into the answers to the above questions. Here are a few benefits of pursuing an MBA:
An MBA degree comes with many advantages, mainly if acquired from one of the prestigious institution. It helps in securing a high-paying managerial job and elevating one's career. Let's look at who benefits from pursuing an MBA degree:
While an MBA does not specify an age limit, students who pursue the degree are typically in their mid-to-late-20s. Ideally,
As the name suggests, the MBA program is offered through an online platform instead of a classroom. While the curriculum and duration of the platform remain the same for online and offline MBA, online MBA programs such as upGrad MBA courses are cost-effective and flexible when compared to offline MBA programs.
The most significant advantage of opting for an upGrad MBA online course is the luxury of learning from one’s comfort zone without compromising on their existing commitments. Many renowned institutions provide online MBA programs. Aspiring students can make conscious decisions while keeping their interests and needs in mind.
Here are some advantages of pursuing an online MBA degree:
Why Online MBA?
The one-year MBA program is designed for working professionals with over four years of experience who wish to take an MBA part-time or in distance mode. Like IIM Ahmedabad (MBA -PGPX), several top MBA colleges in India offer one-year MBA programs. One-year MBA programs offer multiple specialisation options for focused learning. The course is comprehensive and follows the curriculum of the 2-year program. Hence, students should remember that a one-year MBA is fast-paced and demands immense dedication and commitment.
Identifying career goals is essential for an MBA pursuit. Failing to do so will result in incomplete learning and networking during the MBA program. The benefits of pursuing a full-time 2-year upGrad online MBA course will be immense, but it is crucial to analyse all financial and career commitments before taking the plunge.
A full-time upGrad online MBA course (2 years program) lasts for four semesters distributed across two academic years. The first year will cover the general course requirements, and then the second year gets deeper into the multiple disciplines, allowing candidates to choose their area of interest. A full-time upGrad online MBA course offers an invaluable opportunity to connect with ambitious, smart, and enthusiastic professionals with solid academic and professional backgrounds.
A part-time executive MBA is specifically designed for working professionals who wish to take a significant leap in their careers while focusing on their job simultaneously. The executive MBA (EMBA) duration is 15 to 24 months. Professionals with business/management experience are most suitable for the program. An EMBA program is a fast-paced expert-level MBA program primarily focused on enhancing leadership, critical thinking, and managerial abilities in working professionals.
It should be divided into online, offline and distance
Applying for an online MBA is simple and straightforward. Here are detailed steps to initiate the upGrad MBA online course admissions process:
The admissions process for a distance MBA is based on your eligibility, the institute you are applying to, and the course duration you are applying for. A general 2-year MBA course requires a valid exam score (CAT, XAT, MAT, etc.), a bachelor’s degree from a recognised university, and preferably work experience. Some colleges conduct their entrance exams.
Below is a list of core skills that employers seek in MBA graduates:
The eligibility criteria might vary from one institution to another but there are a few common grounds that MBA admission is based on:
Here is a list of promising National and State Level MBA entrance exams for students looking to pursue management studies: CAT, KMAT, CMAT, MAT, XAT, NMAT, GMAT, MAH CET, TANCET, SNAP, PGCET.
The top 100 business schools in India offer MBA admission without conducting any entrance exam. They encourage and mentor students to prepare for exams like MAT or ATMA. However, it is better to appear for entrance exams to secure MBA admission as B-schools ranked after the first 50 management schools offer only limited direct entries.
Although most top B-schools in the country have closed MBA admissions now, students can check out a few other reputed institutes, like:
Students aspiring for Distance MBA admission 2022 will have to clear entrance exams like CAT, XAT, MAT, etc. Some institutions have entrance tests of their own for admission. Institutes like Symbiosis Centre for Distance Learning (SCDL) offer admission based on the test scores of national level exams while IGNOU conducts the OPENMAT exam for Distance MBA admission 2022.
Every institution has its own set of eligibility criteria for providing admission. However, some common criteria are to be fulfilled for the Distant MBA admission. They are:
Distance MBA is a convenient option for those professionals who cannot take up a full-time MBA owing to career commitments.
There are four types of institutions offering Distance education & Distance MBA in India as identified by the Ministry of HRD under the guidance of the Government of India. They are as follows:
Below is a list of top Distance MBA colleges:
UPES (University of petroleum and energy studies), Dehradun
Lovely Professional University (LPU)
Symbiosis Centre for Distance Learning
Narsee Monjee Institute of Management studies
SRM University, Chennai
The MBA curriculum is based on the specialisation students opt for. The subjects covered under respective specialisations are as follows:
MBA in Banking and Finance
MBA in Marketing
MBA in Digital Marketing
MBA in Supply Chain Management
MBA in HR
MBA in General Management
MBA universities and institutions offer a broad range of standard specializations for students to pursue in India or abroad based on their interests. Some of the most lucrative MBA offerings are Business Analytics, Finance, Human Resources, Digital Finance & Banking, Operations Management, and International Business. Ideally, the choice of your specialization should align with your strengths and inclinations, factor in the pay scale, and the university you choose for your higher education.
Let's explore the top MBA specializations briefly:
MBA in Business Analytics: An MBA in Business Analytics helps students cater to industries extensively by adopting Big Data and Data Science technologies to stay ahead of the curve. The program teaches you to leverage data analytics and core management skills to effectively devise business strategies and help companies thrive on a global platform. Among the most lucrative opportunities, an MBA in Business Analytics introduces you to include Management Consulting, Growth Manager, Business consultant, Leadership Roles in Business Analytics, Sales, HR, Marketing & Finance, and Growth & Strategy roles.
MBA in Digital Finance & Banking: With businesses increasingly subscribing to digital-first solutions by leveraging new-age technologies like AI and ML, Cryptocurrency, Managing Fintech Ecosystems, Financial Management and Valuation, Data Visualization in Finance, etc., there is a growing requirement for individuals who are proficient in developing game-changing finance and banking solutions. The BFSI industry offers working professional/business owners/entrepreneurs with an MBA in Digital Finance & Banking an opportunity to thrive in their careers by securing influential roles in financial and insurance sectors, Fintechs, and startups.
Candidates who have completed undergraduate courses (like B.com, B.A, B.SC, MBBS, and so on) are eligible to apply for an MBA program. Aspiring MBA candidates should have a minimum of 50% score in the bachelor’s program to apply for an MBA. However, renowned institutions like IIMs require a mandatory 50% mark for MBA admission in the bachelor’s program. A good score in the MBA entrance exam is a must. Candidates clearing the entrance exams will go to the GD (Group discussion) and PI (Personal Interview) levels.
Applying for an MBA program is a long-drawn process. Here are the steps to follow to pursue an MBA in India:
Until the late 1900s, only universities in the USA offered MBA programs, while other countries believed in learning the business through jobs. The first college for MBA in Asia was set up in Calcutta, India, in 1953 called The Indian Institute of Social Welfare & Business Management (IISWBM). Since, over 3700 colleges have been established that offer a variety of specialisations in MBA to students looking to climb the corporate ladder.
Here's an overview of the top cities that present lucrative career advancements opportunities for MBA aspirants:
Mumbai is among the top MBA destinations in India, with a sizable number of aspirants seeking admission to Mumbai universities for their quality of education. With course curriculums focused on various specializations, an MBA from Mumbai can open doors to the corporate world. Some of the best MBA colleges in Mumbai are:
Delhi offers numerous avenues for pursuing Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Post Graduate Programme in Management (PGPM) in International Business, Foreign Trade, and Business Economics, to name a few. Students can opt for any one of the following universities for a goal-oriented education:
Kolkata is another popular destination for pursuing an MBA education for lucrative placements and growth opportunities. It is home to the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta which holds the #3 NIRF Ranking 2021 Position for MBA schools in India. Some highly ranked MBA colleges in Kolkata are:
With a world-class curriculum designed for focused learning and imparting problem-solving, research, and analytical skills, MBA colleges in Chennai are among the preferred B-schools in India. Among the top B-schools in Chennai are:
Pune is known for its top-quality MBA education and excellent learning experience, making the city one of the preferred destinations for pursuing an MBA degree. Among the most reputed management colleges in Pune are:
A prime location for students seeking an MBA education. The city is home to India's leading pharmaceutical and IT companies. Some of the Top MBA institutions in Hyderabad include:
Bangalore invites students from all over India to pursue an MBA through entrance exams like CAT, and XAT at reputed colleges like SIBM, and TAPMI respectively. Colleges like IIM Bangalore and RV Institute of Management in Bangalore are known to offer the best placement opportunities.
Ahmedabad is another city in India that is known for high-quality MBA education and placement opportunities. It is well-known for IIM Ahmedabad, and AICTE Approved Colleges like MICA, and EDII for PGDM certifications. Some of the top MBA institutions in Ahmedabad are:
Students can also consider cities like Indore, Kozhikode, Raipur, Trichy, and Nagpur which are home to reputed MBA colleges and universities for pursuing world-class MBA education.
Getting an MBA from an international business school is a popular choice among students in India, given the networking opportunities and all-round growth potential in international education. Let's look at some of the benefits of pursuing an MBA from a foreign country:
It should be kept in mind that some of the top universities globally require a minimum of 3 to 4 years of experience for MBA programs. This is in addition to the 4-year bachelor degree in a relevant field from a recognized university.
Students aiming to pursue an MBA from abroad can appear for GMAT and GRE tests, which are held on a rolling basis and students are allowed to pick their preferred exam dates based on their convenience and readiness. Below are the requirements for the top four overseas MBA destinations:
Before students pick a university from which to pursue MBA, it is essential to review the respective college's international accreditations, course curriculum, worldwide ranking, scholarship programs, cost of study, amenities, etc.
Here are some top MBA colleges to consider when deciding your career path:
There is a wide range of lucrative opportunities available to MBA students who can pursue high-end managerial roles at top companies worldwide. Among the top career options available to MBA graduates are:
Among the top recruiters of MBA graduates as per the GMAC report are Fortune Global 100 companies that encompass healthcare, finance, HR, energy, and consulting industries. Some globally recognized companies that constantly hire MBA graduates are Amazon, McKinsey, JP Morgan, Google, Deloitte, Accenture, Microsoft, TATA Consultancy, Cognizant, Wipro, and Infosys, to name a few.
In addition, for-profit public companies and large corporations have a considerable requirement for MBA graduates. Even smaller companies, non-profits, and promising startups actively seek MBA graduates to acquire leadership in their industries.
MBA graduates stand to earn higher salaries than individuals with bachelor's degrees — which is one of the primary reasons why students opt for higher education after amassing necessary work experience. Based on the specialisation students choose, the starting salary of an MBA graduate in India ranges between INR 5.5 LPA to 22 LPA or more. High-end salaries are usually offered to graduates from top colleges like IIM. Thus, as you can see, there’s a wide range in the starting salary of MBA graduates.
On the other hand, the average annual MBA salary for graduates in the US is about $115,000. However, depending on the industry, the salary can go as high as $138,000 - 47,000 annually. It's worth mentioning that an MBA significantly accelerates growth potential and helps professionals climb up the corporate ladder faster.
To know more information on salaries in India and abroad, visit our salary in India and salary abroad pages.
MBA graduates can pursue high-profile jobs in various fields, including investment banking, finance, entrepreneurship, management consulting, product management, human resource, etc. Here are the top sectors for MBA graduates to seek employment opportunities:
Average Salary Hike
Put the presentation skills learned in the course into practice through a video presentation.
Find and describe a major change management case (e.g. Apple upon Job’s return, Tesla, Rimac, Microsoft under Nadella, Shell under Watts, etc.)
Candidates must perform on several eligibility criteria to get accepted into an MBA course. These requirements include a bachelor’s degree, CAT/GMAT/ GRE certification, resume, essays, recommendation letters, work experience, and proof of English proficiency (TOEFL/IELTS) if applying for MBA abroad.
These are the basic requirements for admission to an MBA course, but conditions often vary according to institutes.
MBA is known to open doors for diverse lucrative opportunities. However, it is natural for some streams to perform better than others, given the changing market trends and emerging demands. In recent years, MBA streams such as Finance, Management, Entrepreneurship, Information Technology, Marketing, and Healthcare Management are the highest-paid MBA streams. A successful career in any given stream would ensure your chances of reaping exponential monetary benefits.
No. It is not mandatory for candidates to have prior industry experience to get admission to MBA courses. However, candidates with work experience comparatively perform well than ones without it. Experienced people are prone to receive better career opportunities after accomplishing the degree. Hence, you can consider working for 1-2 years to gain industry experience before getting your MBA degree.
According to statistics, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and Germany are considered the top 5 places to pursue an MBA degree. Fortunately, you can attain an MBA from the leading nations of the US and other countries through online education portals like upGrad!
Financial and consulting services firms are the biggest recruiters for MBAs in India. The country has also witnessed a growth in FMCG companies like Hindustan Unilever, ABInBev, Coca-Cola, and P&G for recruiting MBAs. Also, industrial corporations like Tata, Reliance, and Aditya Birla Group are extensively hiring MBAs for their leadership development programs and general management roles.
MBA programs are open for candidates with a broad range of academic foundations. Since MBA is a Master’s program, you only need a Bachelor’s degree in any discipline to apply. So, although you have never studied management, you can still pursue MBA.
The MBA is a master’s level program that presents a comprehensive range of core general management abilities and knowledge. It focuses on imparting skills related to finance, marketing, sales, etc., which are essential for business. Students can also choose elective courses that suit their interests. Usually, MBA is a full-time program. There is no age limit, and one can pursue MBA even in their 40s.
Executive MBA (EMBA) is geared towards more experienced executives who might not have had the opportunity to pursue an MBA before. Compared to MBAs, many EMBAs receive financial assistance from companies. Many individuals pursue an EMBA to achieve a promotion instead of switching careers.
Communication skills are the core of all online MBA programs. Excellent communication skills make learning all aspects of an online MBA course easy. Online MBA courses don’t have on-campus requirements. The entire work must be submitted online through email, with attachments like an Excel spreadsheet or a Word document.
The mentor conducts the online classes as per the prescribed schedule. Students can ask doubts in the dedicated live sessions or leave their doubts as comments for mentors. In the end, the online examination is conducted, and students' results and certifications are released online.
Some of the popular MBA specialisations include MBA in General Management, MBA in Finance, MBA Marketing, MBA in Business Analytics, MBA in Consulting, MBA in Entrepreneurship, MBA in HR, and MBA in International Business.
Firstly, students should have an MBA specialisation they are passionate about. They must evaluate diverse choices and choose the one as per their area of interest. Going through the specialisation’s specifications, learning methods and cross-verification of the institute’s curriculum is another important factor to consider. Researching the previous placement reports and internship exposure is also essential.
It is crucial to check the MBA fee structure because it must match your budget. Make sure the specialisation you choose gives you a decent ROI
Here are the steps to getting admission for MBA:
The government also conducts tests for admission in the MBA government colleges and private MBA colleges in the state. These tests are-
One of the most preferred MBA programs is MBA Finance. Students choose it to acquire leadership skills in the areas like Financial Management, Accounting, Corporate Acquisitions & Mergers, Corporate Financial Planning, and Banking and Financial Management.
Those students who want to excel in a finance management career after completing graduation in Science, Commerce, Humanities, or have completed CS/CA/ICWA, or belong to an engineering background, can choose MBA in Finance course. There is no particular qualification bar to pursuing MBA in financial management.
The publications specialised in business and accrediting institutions update business schools' rankings as well as program-specific rankings each year. Although the ranking systems vary, the crucial criteria are the average GMAT scores of the accepted candidates, years of experience at the institute, and the international class profile. Also, the teacher-to-student ratio is a decent indicator of the level of classroom interaction during lectures or seminars.
GMAT (Graduate Management Assessment Test) is a standardised test acknowledged by the Graduate Management Admission Council. It is approved as an official admission requirement by MBA providers and accredited business schools globally.
The most common MBA funding option is Corporate sponsorship. MBA graduates and business schools highly recommend this option. Other private organisations interested in students' academic profiles and willing to recruit them after graduation can offer them partial or full sponsorship. This option includes an individual agreement between the funding company and the applicant. Note that it doesn’t include any formal agreement with the business school.
Depending on the available funding, some business schools provide merit-based scholarships to a few applicants. Commonly, it covers a part of the tuition fee. The application process is defined separately from the admission application for obtaining a merit-based scholarship.